As the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic continues to captivate the world in a time freeze like experience, the changes that workplaces have had to effect have been prominent and extreme. Because of the quick spread and serious health consequences of this pandemic, many companies have opted to shift all nonessential employees to a work from home mandate. Through such an action, millions of workers across all industries across the globe now find themselves working from the confines of their respective homes rather than traveling into the office during the week. Here are two benefits and two drawbacks that are being seen as a result of the new work from home experience:
1. Full utilization of available technology – Chief among the benefits of working from home is the necessity to now use technology to its full potential. Whereas technology may have been used as an additive tool in the past, it is now essential for many businesses to continue functioning and its full scope of abilities is on display. Apps and virtual classes are being offered to accommodate employees and high-expense tools and software that were previously underutilized are now counted on to make decisions and achieve solutions from home.
2. A change in the future precedent of working – As supply chains are continuing to be run and productivity is being kept up despite the swirl of chaos surrounding society, people are starting to realize the power and practicality of working from home. Commuting is cut out of the equation and many tech workers are still able to maintain their jobs without requiring expensive overhead and capital investment while also gaining flexibility. At the end of the day, some companies may come out of this time with a new understanding of how they will run their business.
1. Lack of experience – Employees are facing new challenges everyday while working from home. From dealing with the new norm of virtual communication, a new setting with distractions, and increased family contact that includes caring for young children, the stimuli that are being presented are radically different from what is currently seen in a typical work setting. In addition, many regions have differing experiences with working from home. Countries like the United States have seen the idea of work from home proliferate in recent years, but regions like Europe are facing large cultural shocks due to the fact that six out of 10 people have never worked from home.
2. Resource availability – Across the globe, disparities are being magnified as employees struggle to adapt to an environment away from home that doesn’t offer the same resources as in their typical workplaces. Resources like internet availability, computers, applications, storage space, and finances are all unlikely to remain the same away from the workplace and the lack of such things is creating major problems for companies. Looking at internet alone, almost 10 percent of U.S. workers, 15 percent of European workers, 42.3 percent of Chinese workers, and 66 percent of Indian workers don’t have a reliable internet connection.
Ultimately, the implications of the current global pandemic are sure to seriously change the way employees work and will last well into the future.